Simon West To Direct ‘The Expendables 2′

Published 4 years ago by

Simon West to direct The Expendables 2 Simon West To Direct The Expendables 2

Despite rumor mongering that Sylvester Stallone would once again be leading his battalion both onscreen and behind the camera in The Expendables 2, it turns out that Sly will be handing over both scripting and directing duties on the sequel (though he is expected to be involved in crafting the story).

After several months of searching, it looks as though Sly and Lionsgate studio heads have finally settled on a fellow to direct the Expendables followup: none other than Con Air and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider helmer, Simon West.

Deadline confirmed the news, adding that original Expendables players Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, and Mickey Rourke are indeed expected to return for the sequel. Word that Bruce Willis is set as one of the film’s antagonists persists – though Arnold Schwarzenegger’s retreat from the limelight could mean that his mercenary character won’t be playing a significant role in Expendables 2, as was previously speculated.

Jean-Claude Van Damme is still rumored as a prospective villain for Expendables 2, but there’s been no other substantiated talk about what additional ’80s/90s action movie icons could be joining the party. That Stallone plans to up the ante by throwing even more stars with impressive onscreen kill-counts into the mix has been known for some time; now, however, we’re approaching a point where there should be some official announcements about who is and isn’t in for the next Expendables adventure.

On the directing side of things: West is a well-established action movie helmer who’s been keeping busy of late, calling the shots on this year’s Mechanic remake with Statham and reuniting with his Con Air star Nicolas Cage for the upcoming action-thriller Medallion. His involvement should be a plus for fans who were less than taken with Stallone’s directing in the first Expendables (which was considered shoddy enough to warrant a Razzie Award nomination).

the mechanic reviews Simon West To Direct The Expendables 2

Jason Statham in 'The Mechanic'

Despite a rumored Expendables 2 plot synopsis that suggested the sequel would follow the trend of ’80s action franchise sequels by upping the personal stakes, the sequel’s actual plot is anyone’s guess at this point. Obviously, the central narrative will essentially boil down to “the Expendables go on a new mission,” but whether or not any returning characters will be playing a larger role – or be getting the axe in the sequel – are the bigger questions for now.

While Expendables definitely delivered on the action front – featuring all the brutal violence and big action set pieces you could ask for – there was much room for improvement. That was especially true on the screenwriting front, where Stallone and his Expendables co-writer Dave Callaham really failed to churn out the sort of catchy (or memorably corny) dialog and one-liners that used to dominate action-fests back in the day. If Expendables 2 screenwriters David Agosto and Ken Kaufman (Space Cowboys, Muppets from Space) can put together a stronger script for West to work with, then this is one sequel that could very much improve on its predecessor.

Also – maybe West should go with old-fashioned squibs instead of CGI blood (a la the first Expendables) to give the gun/weapon-related violence in Expendables 2 more of a raw and visceral feel. Just a suggestion.

The Expendables 2 will hit U.S. theaters on August 17th, 2012.

Source: Deadline

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  1. Great solid choice

    • i hop so the cast is true the expendables 2

  2. Simon west at the helm is defiantly a plus. I believe this is where the movie lacked. Sly trying to handle it all. Also where it lack was in the crapy CGI. Hopefully they fix that as well and not hope it goes unnoticed due to all the explosions

  3. Cgi blood is a stupid idea. Hopefully some more action too. The 1st was somewhat slow.

    • Ya agreed on no cgi blood. That really surprised me it was even in there when I first saw this.

  4. Please no shaky-cam. Some of the fight scenes in the first Expendables were getting borderline too shaky with too many cuts. It was like each camera shot lasted about .05 seconds – especially in the Li/Lundgren duel.

    seriously, please no shaky-cam at all. Why did Hollywood even start this fad and who even likes it?

  5. Sorry but this sequel has just taken a turn for the worst. never a big fan of ConAir due to the massive holes in logic and reality it brought into play.

    • Massive holes in logic and reality? And you expect logic and reality from an 80’s style action flick? 😀

      • First of all, conair was a 90s movie and nothing like the 80s action. conair was more like a john woo wannabe with no blood and guts we associate with an 80s movie.

  6. i still think the guy behind transporter should be directing, or someone that can do bigger action (both gunplay and hand to hand).

  7. Why not get a 80s director?

    • exactly. why don’t they think like that? if the audience wants an 80s style action flick, they gotta bring a director from that time.

  8. Good Choice.

  9. Well he may not be from the 80s time, but he can direct like it. Plus when you have Sly who’s gonna be helping out, he’s just not gonna give full control to him, creative wise with the plot, and who play’s what roles.

    I want JCVD, Wesley Snipes(this would be perfect movie for him and the movie probably take place outside the usa), either Steven Segal or Michael Jai White. I hope Bruce plays a much bigger role since Arnie probably won’t be nothing but another 15-30 sec cameo. Perhaps Brock Lesnar, but that’s a stretch.

  10. Simon West added with Sylvester Stallone in helping the screenplay or being one of the producers is a great turn for the sequel..

    Con Air had that kind of John Woo effect of films.. added with Stallone’s style of violence in his films, that would prove a plus for the movie and have donnie yen as fight choreographer… And my added cast for the film would be:

    Kurt Russell
    Michael Jai White
    Donnie Yen
    Bill Goldberg
    Danny Trejo
    James Woods
    Robert Davi
    Michael Biehn

    Is that 80’s or what??

  11. What’s about John McTiernan, Tony Scott, Walter Hill, Richard Donner as directors.
    They made some real cool 80’s action movies.

  12. I know that some might not be in the next one but I’ll list them anyways

    Bruce Willis
    Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Jet Li
    Dolph Lundgren
    Wesley Snipes
    Steven Seagal
    Jean-Claude Van Damme
    Chuck Norris

    These are the real-deal veterans, ya’ll can fill out the rest

  13. I didn’t really pay much attention to Expendables when it came out. I caught it On Demand, and I have to say, I was impressed. Keep in mind, the extended version is so, so, so much better than the theatrical release. Yes, Sly’s direction was a big raw, a lot of close-ups on the eyes, but that is typical 80’s. I thought the dialogue was great. Not horribly campy like back in the day, but, come on, you had one of the bad guys proclaiming “You’re good” during a fight scene. How stilted is that? If I wanted to watch good/bad 80’s films, I’d throw a DVD in. This film gave us an updated nod to the action films of our youth.
    I have to give props to Sly for rounding out characters. Each individual character was an archetype of those from the 80’s & 90’s, but the audience got to see glimpses of the personal lives & issues of those characters. It added some depth beyond the one-dimensional killing machines that we were used to decades ago. I’m excited for E2.

  14. chuck norris cameo!!!